Thursday 22 August 2019

Photos of La Cartonera books

The first-ever London Cartonera Book Festival will be held from 17 to 20 September as part of a UK-wide festival to celebrate the grassroots ‘Cartonera’ publishers movement from Latin America. For this event, Senate House Library and the University of Surrey and Durham University will join forces with five key publishing collectives from Mexico and Brazil.

Next month, the UK public will have a unique opportunity to join workshops to learn more about the Cartonera publishing movement. It is a phenomenon that was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, as a collaboration between writers, publishers, and waste-pickers in the wake of the 2001 economic crisis.

Led by the principles of democracy, inclusivity and equality, ‘cardboard publishers’ make low-cost books out of cardboard collected from the street through community-based workshops. The movement has spread across Latin America and beyond over the past two decades, with cartoneras emerging in more than 20 countries across four continents.

Cultural activists on the front line of the Cartonera scene in Mexico and Brazil will lead a range of workshops. They include Dulcinéia Catadora, a publisher from São Paulo’s Cooperglicerio recycling co-operative, La Rueda Cartonera and Viento Cartonero, whose work has recently been taken to the women’s prison of Puente Grande, Mexico.

Each workshop will give people the opportunity to walk away with their own hand-made Cartonera books and to discuss new ideas for arts-based activism in their own local communities. This kind of work can address problems from environmental degradation to homelessness.

The London Cartonera Book Festival is the culmination of two projects funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Global Challenges Research Fund: the ‘Cartonera Publishing’ project led by Dr Lucy Bell at Surrey, and ‘Activating the Arts in Latin America’ led by Durham University’s Dr Alex Flynn.

More information and festival workshop details are available on the Senate House Library website.


Notes for editors

1. For media enquiries, please contact Rebecca Simpson, Communications and Engagement Officer, Senate House Library, University of London, / 0207 862 8501.

2. Link to download images for use in publication of articles:

3. Senate House Library (SHL) is one of the UK's largest academic libraries for arts, humanities & social sciences with over 2 million books, 50 special collections and 1,800 archival collections. The Library and its collections have been continuously developed since the 1870s. The Library is open to the public as well as students and academics of the University of London – membership required. Twitter: @SenateHouseLib Facebook: @SenateHouseLibrary Instagram: @SenateHouseLib

4. The University of London is a federal University and is one of the oldest, largest and most diverse universities in the UK. Established by Royal Charter in 1836, the University is recognised globally as a world leader in Higher Education. Its members are 18 self-governing institutions of outstanding reputation, together with a number of prestigious central academic bodies and activities.

5. The University of Surrey is a global community of ideas and people, dedicated to life-changing education and research. Through our world-class research and innovation, we are positively impacting society and shaping future digital economy through agile collaboration with businesses, governments and communities.

6. Durham University is a globally outstanding centre of teaching and research excellence, a collegiate community of extraordinary people, a unique and historic setting – Durham is a university like no other.